Powerful winter storm forecast to slam East Coast

·3 min read

Winter storm watches and warnings have been issued for a large stretch of the U.S. East Coast ahead of a powerful Nor'easter set to hit in the coming hours. The coastal region extending from eastern Maryland through Maine is forecast to see the most snowfall, with one to two feet of snow — or more — possible in parts of New England, according to the National Weather Service.

It could be the largest Nor'easter in years and is expected to hit Friday night through Saturday.

"Numerous hazards are likely from heavy snow, with significant accumulations across eastern Long Island/New England, to gusty winds and coastal issues," forecasters said Friday. "In fact, the combination of the snow and winds may result in blizzard conditions."

Parts of New Jersey, Maine, Massachusetts and Maryland are under blizzard warnings, which means severe winter weather — including whiteout conditions — is being seen or is expected within the next 12 to 36 hours.

Blizzard conditions are not associated with snow totals, but are due to wind and visibility, CBS Boston reports. People are urged not to travel under this warning.

More than 2,300 U.S. flights were canceled on Friday, and 3,700 were canceled for Saturday, according to FlightAware.

The governors of Virginia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island have declared states of emergency, and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu declared a snow emergency for the city. Meanwhile, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said he will ban tractor trailers from the roads beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday.

The NHL announced late Friday that the New York Islanders' game against the Seattle Kraken — scheduled for Saturday at the UBS Arena on Long Island — will be postponed to Wednesday.

In Boston, where a blizzard warning was issued, residents are gearing up – the area could get hit with about two feet of snow. The last time the city had blizzard conditions was nearly four years ago, according to CBS Boston. The weekend's Nor'easter could even break Boston's January record for biggest snowstorm in the city's recorded history.

And about 40 minutes from Boston, the town of Scituate, Massachusetts, is encouraging voluntary evacuations, while handing out sandbags and preparing emergency vehicles, Mola Lenghi reported for "CBS Mornings."

Meanwhile, the storm in New Jersey could also break records. According to Accuweather, the 10 to 15 inches of snow that has been forecasted could make for Atlantic City's snowiest January in history. It's the first time New Jersey has been under a blizzard warning since 2018.

Across the region, snow plows are ready to go, but many cleanup crews are operating with reduced staff, partly because of the coronavirus pandemic. One local crew, for example, is working with just half of the usual team, which means it could take longer for roads to be cleared.

Cities and states much further south could also see storm impacts. Winter weather advisories have been issued for parts of Kentucky, West Virginia, the Carolinas and Virginia. Under an advisory, potentially dangerous weather is happening or expected.   

Officials are urging people to monitor the storm and be prepared as it continues to move. After the storm, "bitter cold air" is expected.

Contributing: Sarah Lynch Baldwin

75 million Americans in path of dangerous Nor'easter

Powerful Nor'easter expected to slam East Coast

"CBS Evening News" headlines for Friday, January 28, 2022

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